Council targets ex-school site

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A former Sudbury school is to be turned into offices if Suffolk County Council is given planning permission.

The county council confirmed this week that it had applied for planning permission to change the use of part of the old Uplands Middle School building into offices for its own use.

A spokesman for the county council said: “We have submitted a planning application for a change of use of the old performing arts building – a change for use as office accommodation for county council staff.”

The spokesman added just a small part of the grounds were part of the application.

“It is one building, the majority is playing fields.”

If the application is successful, the building will be used as offices for council staff working in the area with children and young people.

The former school in York Road closed in July last year and demolition of some of the buildings began in May, despite protests from groups looking to save the school and see it put to another use.

A number of groups came forward having registered an interest in the buildings, but were put off by the estimated £100,000-a-year running costs.

Three charities – The Befriending Scheme, Stour Valley Vineyard Church and The Bridge Project – all linked up to discuss using the site.

The groups were asked to consider taking up a short-term lease while producing a viable business plan but, when an extension to a deadline for proposals was asked for, the council refused and the project was eventually scrapped.

Babergh District Council will now decide whether the performing arts block can be converted into offices or not.

The county council spokesman confirmed that uses for the rest of the site had not been decided yet, while the playing fields will be offered for use to nearby schools, principally Ormiston Sudbury Academy and Tudor Primary School.

There had been proposals by some residents to use some of this land to increase the amount of available allotment space in the town.